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tv   [untitled]    October 21, 2011 8:00am-8:30am PDT

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ahead of me, i realized he has the same gape i do. we are probably so much more alike than we ever allowed ourselves to think. that was a beginning moment for me. >> one of the narratives that runs through this book, particularly as he becomes more sick in the last part of it, you are the relentless, you are going to be okay, there is going to be hope, if i make enough contacts, i'll fix this. he is the almost unfailing despite his occasional request to you to help voice of it is not going to get better, deal with it, what did you learn over the course of that thing about the terrible tension between hope and reality acceptance when you are close
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to someone who has a terminal illness? >> that is such a hard question because the fact is they are so you. you are looking at yourself. it is impossible when your brother, sister, and 2 and a half years apart. i couldn't give what he was going through a reality. i couldn't see it for what with it was. it was catastrophic. now that i had my brother, i was desperate not to lose him. >> you hadn't had him until this. >> we had that cotten batting between us. we had a fierce attachment, when you are that locked together in this kind of angry,
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very strong bond, underneath that is the bond and the real attachment. so detachment and saying this is about him was impossible. part of that relentless cheer leading was my own failure was to say this is real and this is happening. we always think we can find a solution to everything and we can't. >> did he teach you that? >> yes. that we sometimes things we can't understand. >> knowing what you know now about how it was all going to play out, would you have done anything differently in the way of ongoing, this will be okay, we'll make this okay, we'll try everything kind of cheer
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leading? >> i don't think, i would have liked to say i would have been a more buddhist embracing nature. my nature is to be with that younger sister. i think i was trying to mirror what thought he needed. maybe silence is the way to go. >> this is an odd question, when you said i finally have a brother soon i am going to lose him. why do we love our siblings?
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>> no one with loves us better. william james often wrote about the core of self. that core of self is hidden from our parents. we hide from our parents but we don't from our siblings, they know every aspect of us. it is why they can drive us crazy, it is why when we have a problem, our impulse is to want our brother or sister right next to us. no one with could be closer. there is that pull. that pull is so powerful. it was a love story, always. >> do you think you knew that before you started writing this?
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>> i knew i had to be as close to my brother as i could possibly be. i am sure that pull is part of it. >> you have a daughter and stepson as well? >> i have 1 daughter and 1 stepson who i am close to. >> has this changed how you are around them as well? >> absolutely. my daughter casey has a half brother she is very close to. i say to all of them, you are a team. you have each other through life. you are a team. you do a lot of things together as the 2 families, very, very close. >> this seems like a good moment to open up any question that is you all may want to ask about the writing process, about siblings, anything else.
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> is there something you could read to us from the book that you would feel that we wouldn't understand unless you read it? >> you have any ideas? >> it is a real sort of testish. she has put it together like a quilt. i would say the scene that you described where you are arriving and first see him in the apple orchard, do you remember exactly where that is? >> i'll page through it and see where it is. i might do a short theme where i describe what he looks like and this perfect them. >> if you want to revert to
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your texas voice. >> the last time i saw my brother, we had an immense fight. it was in his house in san antonio, i am describing, the book opens with this fight. this is sort of a picture of my brother at this exact moment. there are always apples around him, women, too. apple pie, big sheik antique bowls of wooden apples, read and golden, apples pencils, produce framed on the library wall, texas vegetables from the rio grand empire. i am an american first, then a texan he would say not understanding he sounded like
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auggi march. the clues are there, i later realized. a man's fate is his character. you always have to show off and tell us what you know, carl said. i'll be in washington next week i say. i have an interview, i have to close of peace. you promised me, you said you would stay away from washington state. you sat right here and said you would not go to the cascades. he yells as loudly as i have ever heard him. washington, d.c. i shout back. i have the trait as well. [laughter]. >> as you are thinking about that, i would like to ask you to give us one more. there are 2 completely
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surprising and interesting substories woven through this narrative of your brother, 1, your fabulous aunt character in mexico getting frosty into mexico and running around with frita caller and your discovery of apples? >> this is astonishing, are we talking about the family past apple? >> both and the way thing danagers come together, yeah. >> kind of astonishing, again working on the idea that everything is passed down in families is it or is it not or is it coincidence. my father had a difficult relationship with his father from mexico. we knew our family had this
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chain of nurseries from mexico. i never understood because my father would change tg subject when his name came up. our grandfather was an orchardist at the turn of the century. >> which you hadn't even known. >> i didn't know it until i discovered this at the archive when i was trying to page through all of these things. then i discovered an obituary that had been written about our grandfather when he died when we were much to young to remember him. it was very, very long in the texas at the time. it detailed every, all the rare plants, specimen plants,
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horticultural, introducing them to texas. i was so excited about all of this. i used to say to my brother, this apple thing, you have gotten from your grandfather who had a reverence. he would say that is ridiculous. when my brother announced he was going to give up his life as a trial lawyer to be an apple orchardist. my father said i have one thing to say, jews don't farm. but they did. his father clearly did. >> just to wind up, then, what are you working on next? >> i have become fascinated with the personal. this is the most excruciating
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difficult book. >> so you are going to turn around and do it again. >> i have been spending a great deal of time in india every year my next book is a memoir of going through india and what this has done to transform my own life. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> [applause].
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>> [applause]. we have a very special guest. [inaudible] is here with us tonight. [inaudible] dancing. step dancing which we are familiar with. you may have seen this before. this will be a treat. [applause].
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>> someone once told me this was from scandanavia. this is a different version. about 2 sisters that fall in love with the same guy. it didn't work out too well. one of the sisters throws another one into the raging water. he fashions her body into a fiddle, into a violin. this is the actual violin. i love her so much.
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[singing] [music playing]
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[applause] [music playing]
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